Chartered flight at Meghauli Airport after long raises hope for tourism boost


8th Nov, 2016 | Tourism Mail Crew


CHITWAN: Meghauli Airport in Chitwan, has witnessed a flight landing after a long gap.

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The reoperation of the airport that remained closed for six years has brought smile to the faces of locals. Flights to and from Meghauli Airport were stopped with the shifting of hotels inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP) to other locations.   The operation of star-standard hotels around Meghauli has prompted the resumption of the airport, according to Bharatpur Airport Chief Shiba Sharma.

The airport saw no flight land since the closure of the Tiger Tops Hotel. The airport started handling chartered flights with the establishment and operation of hotels around Meghauli.  However, we are ready for the operation of regular flights as well, Sharma said.

The landing of an 18-seater Tara Air's charted flight in the airport on Nov 5 came as good news for the locals. Locals hope that regular operation of the airport would contribute to promote local tourism. However, the airport runway is not sufficient for a wide-body aircraft.  The airport that lies some 30 kilometers west to Bharatpur was constructed in 2030 BS. Its infrastructure is in a poor condition as it remained closed for long.

Chitwan is listed as the third major tourist destination of the country. Sauraha is its major tourist town and it is followed by Meghauli that is famous for wildlife tourism as it adjoins to the CNP. Tourists also arrive here to enjoy the local culture. Local Meena Neuapne sees changes in her locality with the operation of new hotels.

The Meghauli folks  are hopeful that the operation of flights to the airport would help revitalize the local tourism. The road that links Bharatpur to Megauli is in very poor condition that caused inconvenience to tourists, they said, drawing the attention of authority concerned for its improvement.

Meantime, Bharatpur Airport has remained relatively busy these days. Though the airport has a schedule for seven flights on a daily basis, it is making up to 12 flights a day.    The ongoing widening works along the Muglin-Narayangadh Road section is attributed to the increase in the flights schedule in the airport.

The road widening drive has contributed to the long duration of travel via the road, forcing commuters to opt for air travel, it is said. RSS